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Research That Scales

The Research Operations Handbook

By Kate Towsey

To be published: September 2024

For the most part, the battle of establishing research teams in organizations is won. For leaders of research, design and product teams, there’s a new challenge: How do you support and scale your research activities to meet the ever-increasing demand and deliver on the promised impact? Around the world, leaders are turning to Research Operations for help.

Research That Scales: The Research Operations Handbook will help you find your operational muscle – even if you don’t think you have one. Within these pages, you’ll find the information you need to confidently deliver operations that will help you build a research practice that is scalable, ethical, efficient and impactful, whether you’re a team of five or five hundred.

For the most part, the battle of establishing research teams in organizations is won. For leaders of research, design and product teams, there’s a new challenge: How do you support and scale your research activities to meet the ever-increasing demand and deliver on the promised impact? Around the world, leaders are turning to Research Operations for help.

Research That Scales: The Research Operations Handbook will help you find your operational muscle – even if you don’t think you have one. Within these pages, you’ll find the information you need to confidently deliver operations that will help you build a research practice that is scalable, ethical, efficient and impactful, whether you’re a team of five or five hundred.

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Research Does Not Scale—Systems Do
Chapter 2: Lost and Won on Strategy
Chapter 3: From Strategy to Operational
Chapter 4: Planning Realistic ResearchOps
Chapter 5: People to Take Part in Research
Chapter 6: Long Live Research Knowledge
Chapter 7: Seamless Support
Chapter 8: Tactical Tooling
Chapter 9: Respect in Research
Chapter 10: Money and Metrics
Chapter 11: Getting Priorities Straight
Chapter 12: Making the Most of Research Talent

FAQ

These common questions and their short answers are taken from Kate Towsey’s book Research That Scales: The Research Operations Handbook (2024). You can find longer answers to each in your copy of the book, either printed or digital version.

  1. Isn’t ResearchOps just about procuring the right tools and having someone take care of participant recruitment for me? Is an entire book necessary?
    There’s no doubt that procuring tools and full-service participant recruitment are key research operations themes, but it’s a mistake to think that these tasks constitute ResearchOps. Operations is often confused with administration or assistance, but administering systems or assisting researchers is just one part of the job. As you will learn in Chapter 1, “Research Does Not Scale—Systems Do,” to help an organization operate in ways that add value, you’ll need to deliver the right systems first and then administer them well. If you deliver administrative support before designing systems, you’re putting the cart before the horse. ResearchOps sounds like just another buzzword, like DevOps and DesignOps.

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